Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
'Core curriculum' as educational means in the struggles toward emancipation: The Zionist case, 1891-1948
Yuval Dror

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


Ralph Tyler (1991), one of the founding fathers of curriculum studies, defined "core curriculum" in this way: "The curriculum has come to be viewed as composed of two parts: the common core, and peripheral subjects… " (p. 175). The Zionist core curricula during the "Yishuv" (pre-State Israel) period served as an educational means in the struggles against the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate toward emancipation and building the Jewish State. In this paper  I analyzed the historical development of the contents in the eight main Zionist core curricula of the Yishuv period (primary sources, 1891-1948) and their secondary studies (by the method of "systematic review"), with varying emphases in all urban and rural schools, for boys and girls, and in all the three Educational ideological-political Trends of the educational system during the British period: the Zionist-religious Mizrahi Trend, the Zionist-socialist Labor Trend and the general-Zionist General Trend. 
The educational struggles for Jewish-Zionist emancipation in Eretz-Israel took place at the time of the Yishuv by determining the shared core curricula centered on Jewish-Zionist values: in the years 1891/2 (by Teachers’ Assembly - thirteen teachers from the southern villages in Eretz-Israel existing at the time); in 1903, 1907/1911 (by the Teachers’ Union that led the educational system in the end of Ottoman period); in 1923, 1932, 1937 (by the Education Department of the Zionist administration in Eretz-Israel [till 1933] and of the 'government' of the Yishuv [1933 onwards] – as well as the three educational trends). In 1930 a core curriculum was instituted for all high schools in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa and in 1934/35 a syllabus for the final school examinations was agreed upon.  All the eight main national core curricula shared the following characteristics: They were discussed and approved (even if not always formally) by the supreme national body dealing with education at the time – the Teachers’ Assembly, the Teachers’ Union, the 'Education Committee' that shaped the policy of the Education Departments and those departments, that represented the three educational trends. A systematic review of all these curricula shows that the subjects used to promote national education were always the same ones: Hebrew language and literature; Bible; Talmud, Mishnah and other Jewish holy books; Jewish and general history; nature study, homeland studies and geography with emphasis on Eretz-Israel; agriculture and crafts; and various arts. Even such general subjects as history, nature study and geography highlighted Judaism and Eretz-Israel, while the general studies served more as a background for the Zionist endeavor. The core curricula of Zionist education as devices for emancipation were intended for all strata of the population: The primary school curricula did so; the programs for the kindergartens, only partially decided on and written down, reached the whole Jewish population at the time, including the disadvantaged strata; high school education during the Yishuv was mostly elitist and selective, but it also spread to additional populations through the inclusion of vocational and agricultural studies in various schools.